Andre Villas-Boas was left reeling on Monday after being sacked by a Premier League club for the second time in under two years.
Following a 5-0 trashing at home to Liverpool, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy ruthlessly dispensed of the young Portuguese manager who had rejected overtures from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer to remain at White Hart Lane.
Despite spending in excess of £100million on new players during the close season, Tottenham have struggled in the league, and sit in 7th place with a goal difference of minus six, having been beaten 5-0 and 6-0 against Liverpool and Manchester City respectively in the last month.
Villas-Boas must accept some of the blame for these performances. Nevertheless, I believe that the club has made an incredibly poor decision to dispose of a man with the highest win percentage of any Spurs manager in the Premier League era.
Having brought Technical Director Franco Baldini to the club in order to recruit new signings, the questions being asked about the quality of Spurs’ new arrivals have been unfairly directed at AVB. It seems to me that Levy is merely using Villas-Boas as a scapegoat to cover his and Baldini’s failings in the transfer market.
Furthermore, the sale of talismanic winger Gareth Bale to Real Madrid over the summer has had a hugely debilitating effect upon the squad. AVB was attempting to build a side around the Welsh international, and had consistently claimed he would not be sold.
Bale’s departure represented an undermining of Villas-Boas’ authority by Levy, and also forced the club into making more signings than they wished to over the summer. This has contributed to Spurs’ slow start to the season, as the side struggled to gel and produce the free-flowing, attacking football that Spurs fans so evidently desire.
However, to put it quite simply, Villas-Boas was just not given the time by Levy to shape a winning team out of what was essentially a group of strangers.
With AVB departing, Spurs look a side drained of self-belief. Russia manager Fabio Capello is the favourite for the hot seat at White Hart-Lane, but his authoritarian style is hardly likely to inspire a set of players who will have been shocked to lose a manager so well liked within the squad.
It could be argued that under Villas-Boas, the side was in a negative spiral, and change was required in order to kick-start Tottenham’s season. However, it is primarily Levy’s fault that the season required kick-starting in the first place.